Quadriplegia otherwise referred to as Tetraplegia is identified as either partial or complete paralysis of both the upper and lower body, disabling movement from the shoulders down caused by neck injury.
Comparatively, Paraplegia is either the partial or complete paralysis of the lower body caused by back injury. This can include paralysis of the mid section and legs.
These impairments are in most cases due to spinal cord injury as a result of motor vehicle and other accidents. The damaged lines of communication between the brain and the limbs cause disability of motor function from the nervous system that travels down the spine being injured or severed. From this dependency of the nervous system for muscular control, the severity of the damage to the spine determines the function and remaining control over the body the individual has.
Due to the varying degrees of injury and disability, spinal cord injuries can place long-term functional changes for the individual and their loved ones. Resulting from the paralysis of parts of the body, individuals can experience dysfunction of the bowel and bladder, breathing difficulty, reduced control over regulating blood pressure and body temperature, chronic pain and limited mobility. Loved ones of the individual must also consider the requirements to ensure hygiene and assistance products with the risk of bedsores and pressure sores in cases of Quadriplegia.